Poodle Forum banner

1 - 20 of 22 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
161 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
We've been attending puppy playtime weekly but the place I liked the best is not conveniently located and the fact that it is inside makes it hell on my daughter's allergies. They say never let dogs great each other in leash. But the vet and most other people say, no dog parks. When we outgrow puppy playtime, I'm not sure what options we have.

The playtime place does have an adult dog play option but it will be hard for me to get there especially once ski season starts.

If you don't have a yard, what do you do? My son would like us to move to Park City, Utah but I'm looking for easier option :)
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
6,927 Posts
We've been attending puppy playtime weekly but the place I liked the best is not conveniently located and the fact that it is inside makes it hell on my daughter's allergies. They say never let dogs great each other in leash. But the vet and most other people say, no dog parks. When we outgrow puppy playtime, I'm not sure what options we have.

The playtime place does have an adult dog play option but it will be hard for me to get there especially once ski season starts.

If you don't have a yard, what do you do? My son would like us to move to Park City, Utah but I'm looking for easier option :)
When I was better, I would go to a football field near by, during off hours, and let the dogs run free. I also did it on school playgrounds, after school hours or during the week-end. Or behind big government buildings, when they’re closed, they always have such big parking lots and they’re away from the street most of the time.

You can also use children playgrounds when no one is around (if you’re not afraid of being caught...).

Of course, always pick up after your dog !
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
10,294 Posts
Who tells you not to let dogs meet when on a leash? If you're sure the other dog you want your dog to interact with is sweet, gentle, tolerant...use to other dogs, your dog is fine also, I see no reason why not to let your dog meet and greet on leash. I let my dogs meet other dogs a lot when we're on a walk. That's just personal preference I think...some people don't want their dog's attention off of them or are worried that the leash will interfere with both dogs' communication signals to each other. I don't worry about that once I'm confident they're both happy-go-lucky and comfortable. I watch their bodies, tails, heads, expressions. I keep the leash loose enough that there's no tension in it. I've been doing it this way for decades and never had any trouble.

It's important that your pup gets socialization with other dogs, people, places, objects, situations and if it means a leash because you're not in a fenced area, then so be it. I'm very cautious when my dogs are off leash when meeting unknown dogs. That makes me more nervous because I can't air lift them or get them to safety quickly enough in an emergency.

If your dog doesn't have a rock solid recall I wouldn't let him go anywhere off leash that isn't fenced securely unless you're way out in the country way away from a road and even then I'd want a darn good recall...don't want your pup running off too far from you. There are coyotes everywhere these days or someone else's big dog that you don't know that's aggressive so I like the idea of a playground or some kind of fenced in place.
 
  • Like
Reactions: specie

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,650 Posts
I also don't agree with the leash not being good for a meet. I keep my dogs leashed and they are fine greeting other dogs. Of course I need to know the other dogs too. But the leash allows you both to correct a situation if need be. Now with a dog that is leash reactive that may be another story but dogs that are friendly and can do well on a loose leash shouldn't have a problem. I am always afraid is this the time my dog won't have a good recall, and that can happen so unless I am in an area that is fenced..he is leashed. Just keep taking him places and let him met and greet as he wants and I don't think you will have issues. I do think early socialization plays an important key and this puppy class is essential, I'd probably do another as a follow up. That is me though, as I tend to get a bit lazy socializing but I think the is now do to my age.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
161 Posts
Discussion Starter #5
Hmm. I can’t think of any place in the city with big parking lots and all the school playgrounds are open to the public when school isn’t in session. But I’m going to pay better attention to looking for parking lots.

The people who run the puppy playgroup say that when dogs greet each other on leash they don’t have the freedom to investigate each other naturally and that increases the chances that dogs may misread each other. I can’t imagine how I’d manage to never let him greet other dogs on lease since I’d basically have to be the biggest ^**^! in the neighborhood to always say no.

City dogs have funny lives. My chihuahuas were so freaked out the first time they touched grass! I totally missed that they hadn’t had any exposure.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
7,269 Posts
I agree, who told you they can’t meet other dogs while on leash? Mine is always leashed when we’re in the park or walking in the neighborhood. It’s the law where I live. The only place dogs can be off leash is on your property or designated off leash parks. I don’t do off leash parks as my dog had a Rottweiler chase her as if she was prey which was scary and dangerous. My yard is not fenced and a good portion is woods I don’t want my dog exploring.

The critical puppy socializing is only a short period and once your dog is well socialized your dog doesn’t have to meet any and all dog’s. You definitely don’t want your dog meeting ill mannered or antisocial dogs off leash.

I know people with well socialized dogs who don’t allow their dogs any interaction with other dogs once they are passed that stage because they want their dog focused on them .... granted these are people in dog sports and they may have more than one dog. Their dogs are 100% comfortable near other dogs but aren’t interested in playing with other dogs and they are happy. There’s no rule that dogs have to play with other dogs if you provide exercise (fetch or other games) and fun mental activities (training and games).

My dog is happy greeting her friends on leash. We have some leash reactive dogs in our neighborhood. When I see these dogs, I walk parallel with them on neutral ground so the dogs have gotten comfortable with each other. I do chat with the owners but I’m more focused on the dogs making sure both are comfortable, not getting dogs closer than they are ready. Leash reactive dogs are tricky and sometimes it’s best to cross the street to avoid them.

At the park if I don’t know someone and their dog, my dog has to walk by and ignore the other dog. If we know the dog and person, or it’s someone with a young puppy, we do stop and my dog gets to greet and mutually sniff. When we visit my daughter on her farm my dog runs loose and she will play chase with my daughters dog and the friendly barn cat but at home she doesn’t play or chase our elderly cat.

I’m not sure how old your puppy is, but after the socializing period is over, the best choice is to take basic obedience classes once a week and keep taking classes until you have trained for and earned the AKC Canine Good Citizen title or equivalent. Taking classes with good trainers will allow you and your dog the opportunity to see other well behaved dogs on leash in class (not for play but learning useful life skills) and you can ask and get help for common problems dogs/owners may experience. Plus meeting other caring owners allows you to share community resources for dogs. Hopefully you have a good training facility near your home.

I just read your response and while what the trainer said is correct, off Leash dogs read and send signals that may be muddled on leash. Good advice for puppies but dogs can learn to be on leash too. Is your goal a dog that plays with every dog he/she sees? Is your goal is a dog that is comfortable and happy to be around other dogs and in certain situations is happy to be off leash with another friendly dog and may choose to play or not play with the other dog? If you plan to send your dog to daily doggie daycare where groups of dogs run free all day, then you will want to continue this off leash interaction to prepare your dog for doggy daycare. If doggy daycare is not the plan, then don’t worry about it.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
7,269 Posts
BTW, my dog loves to greet other friendly dogs, but I watch other dogs and there are times I say no because I see things like ears flattened to the head or stiffness to the face features or a nervous tail (which could look similar to a happy wagging tail). I don’t trust an owner to say their dog is friendly, I assess the dog. There are dogs in my neighborhood hood I don’t allow my dog to greet, and as mentioned above we also have friendly dogs off leash with leash reactivity that I can walk in parallel. BTW, I’ve noticed many dogs bark at leash reactive or unfriendly dogs. My dog doesn’t bark so I pay attention to my neighbor dogs - who do they bark at, if they bark at a dog, I’m wary about that dog.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
10,294 Posts
The people who run the puppy playgroup say that when dogs greet each other on leash they don’t have the freedom to investigate each other naturally and that increases the chances that dogs may misread each other
I keep the leash loose enough that they can sniff each other's bums and move around. There's a little truth to that...that they don't move quite the same way if constrained. But I think that's carried a little too far sometimes. Give them their head and let them move around freely and watch them. Normally when my dogs meet other little dogs, they're all wagging furiously, very happy and it's within a couple of seconds that I know they're fine. With my toys, I am exceedingly cautious with larger dogs and only under rare circumstances do I let them greet because all it takes is one snap and my 4 pounder would be cut in half. So, big dogs I generally steer clear of unless I know them well and know how they interact with little dogs or if the owner and I stand there chatting for a long time and I can see that their dog is going to be super, then I'll venture forth with my two.

They can even hurt them by accident. My neighbor has a golden retriever...there are a few in my neighborhood. And they're very sweet and I have no problem with them except the one across the road is still very young and inexperienced with how to not bump into them too hard or paw by accident. Otherwise, I'd be fine. The other one I'm thinking of is old and she's still kind of on the exuberant side. I know that when they grow up with little dogs, they learn how to be more careful with their feet. I've had large and small dogs together for years and I don't have to worry because the bigger dogs are so wise about this.

So, just be careful but yeah...you gotta get your pup out and about meeting other dogs. Socialization is important throughout life in one way or another.
 
  • Like
Reactions: Mufar42

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,810 Posts
Remember that the most important part of socialization is not to let your dog greet every person and dog but to learn to ignore other people and dogs and focus on you. My dogs don’t need to greet dogs I don’t know. He needs to learn to walk by and pay attention to me when we pass a dog he doesn’t know. My dogs only need to play with dogs I know.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
10,294 Posts
That's fine if you have ample dogs to let your dogs meet and greet that you know. Dogs can become reactive toward other dogs and people if they don't have ample socialization with them. I think they're perfectly capable of learning that sometimes it's not the time to stop and meet and sometimes they're given permission. And there are times when I don't want to stop and let them meet a dog, in which case, we keep walking. They know "watch me." And get it that we don't stop for every dog. But if they don't get use to seeing other dogs, people, weird things, ground surfaces, many dogs become awkward or uneasy when confronted by these things. But by all means, they should learn manners and keep on walking if asked. (or by default if that's what one wants them to learn)

My dogs are allowed to sniff on their walks too. We stop, go, stop, go for much of the time because I believe that's like reading a newspaper for them and mentally healthy. That's for pet dogs. I can see if you're training for a service dog, that you can't perhaps let them do stuff like that. Or for some other thing. But for the average dog out for a nice walk to enjoy himself, personally, I like to give them some leeway. But that may be just me.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,810 Posts
I don’t agree that dogs have to actually greet other dogs to become socialized to other dogs. As long as they are in the presence of other dogs while learning that it’s no big deal and to listen to their owners then that’s more than enough socialization in my opinion.
I’m also not sure how the letting dogs sniff on leash came into this. Nothing wrong with allowing a dog to explore their environment and not sure why you would have gotten that from my post.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
10,294 Posts
The sniffing is just one more thing I allow my dogs to do that a lot of people don't...along with stopping and chatting with people and dogs. There was a guy in my old neighborhood who walked very briskly with his dog, never stopping at all for anything. That dog looked miserable...head down, tail down, was not enjoying his walk. Pitiful.

I've had a dog reactive dog in the past and have worked with numerous dogs that didn't have enough interaction with other pups. It's just a different way I guess. I believe that dogs want and should be able to interact with their own species whether it's in a planned group setting, a class or out on a walk, if those things aren't being utilized. I don't do classes or dog parks or have people I get together with with the dogs as a planned thing. My dogs mostly like people, but they also like to sniff, play a little bit with other dogs they meet. They think it's really fun to meet novel dogs that they haven't met before and I think it's good for them as long as they're all happy about it. I've had my dogs tumble and have a wee of a time with another person's dog while we chatted and laughed at how the dogs were so cute and happy. This is a very friendly community. But when I've taken them to the dog park, they're actually not that into other dogs...a little bit but not overly. They gravitate to the humans. But on a walk, they think it's pretty cool. That's just how our life goes. Everyone can do how they like.
 

·
Super Moderator
Joined
·
5,287 Posts
The only bad situations my mini-mix got into in the city were off-leash encounters with other dogs. I cringe at the memories!! The leash would have kept her close and allowed me to scoop her up if necessary.

That said, when we lived in Toronto, I'd still seek out vacant lots and secluded trails to let her explore off-leash (once she had a rock-solid recall). I didn't concern myself much with dog-dog socialization, as she met lots of dogs when I'd visit friends and family in the suburbs and she was always oriented towards me anyway.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,664 Posts
Are you thinking primarily of dog to dog and off leash socialization? The suggestions of taking other classes is appealing, but if not affordable, that's another story. Maybe there would be some free or lower cost options for those somewhere.

Do other neighbors in your building have dogs that might be a match? Maybe try a short playdate at a neutral location?

If you have a park nearby, while the weather's still cooperative, just sitting and watching people, dogs, and other things going by can help. In the suburbs, we go to dog friendly businesses to get our pups used to sights and sounds they may not see every day.

These are mostly on leash suggestions so may not be what you're thinking of.

I may be going way overboard but below is a link to a good list of socialization skills to be introduced:

https://drsophiayin.com/app/uploads/2015/12/Socialization_Checklist.pdf

My boys are not solid on recall, so they aren't off leash unless they're in a fenced area.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
10,294 Posts
I don't think that's over board Rose'npoos. I think the more happy experiences paired with all kinds of things as in that list and more is the key to a stable dog later in life. It's hard to do everything but the more the better as long as it's positive experiences. I absolutely think Sophia Yin was wonderful. rip. And her list is pretty much in line with most behaviorists' lists. I love and agree with Jean Donaldson's take on socialization too in her book, Culture Clash. She's got a great chapter on it.
 
  • Like
Reactions: Rose n Poos

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,810 Posts
That's food for thought, a very interesting point of view.
Ya. I really agree with it. And so much of it is genetics and the temperament the dog is born with.
If you have a timid shy or nervy dog you have to be EXTREMELY careful with your socialization. I think it’s really easy to turn ‘trying to make the puppy comfortable with everyone’ into actually making the puppy worse. Especially if the owner isn’t experienced and not great at reading body language. This is a dog where I think you really want to teach the dog that it doesn’t have to worry about interacting with a bunch of random people and dogs, they can just ignore what’s going on around them and their owner will give them direction. And if the owner does allow interaction they can trust the owner that it will be a positive experience. You still want to get the puppy out and about but you don’t need to make it interact with everything. It can just observe and learn to look to the owner for guidance.
If you have a very stable easy going dog you really don’t need a ton of socialization but it’s not likely to hurt. Of course bad experiences can hurt any dog but it would take a bigger incident to ruin a stable dog. You don’t of course want to just keep the dog locked up but it doesn’t need to see everything in the world to be comfortable with it. But this dog can also turn into a dog that finds other people and dogs more rewarding than the owner if socialized where it gets to run up and meet and greet everyone. If it’s a small dog and you don’t want to do sports it’s maybe not a big deal but for a larger dog where you want loose leash walking or especially if you want to do sports it can make things harder and you’ll have to find a treat or reward that is more rewarding than saying hi to the world.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
161 Posts
Discussion Starter #19
As usual, you all have given me some great suggestions and a lot to think about. I think we need to sit as a family and think of our goals. That will make it easier to figure out how to achieve them. (Rocket science... I know...).
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
392 Posts
We've been attending puppy playtime weekly but the place I liked the best is not conveniently located and the fact that it is inside makes it hell on my daughter's allergies. They say never let dogs great each other in leash. But the vet and most other people say, no dog parks. When we outgrow puppy playtime, I'm not sure what options we have.

The playtime place does have an adult dog play option but it will be hard for me to get there especially once ski season starts.

If you don't have a yard, what do you do? My son would like us to move to Park City, Utah but I'm looking for easier option :)
I'm not certain who told you not to allow dogs to meet on leash. It is seriously bad advice that could turn deadly with the wrong dog. My most highly trained dogs were not permitted to meet dogs off lead. If I were out training & saw an approaching dog/handler... I recalled instantly & put my dog on leash. If I saw a loose dog, I recalled & leashed up my dog. Courtesy for the handler/dog approaching was one reason. Safety was the most important reason. The best advice I've ever gotten concerning handling dogs came from an old dogmaster. "You can't control the world or what anyone in it does. You can control you & your dog." That comes from the leash but the leash also provides safety. I know my dog, I don't know the approaching dog or if s/he has any behavior problems (like aggression). I am often appalled at the dogs people will take into public places around people & dogs who are simply dangerous.

Mine are allowed to be near other dogs. They don't need to be all over one another to be happy. I give my dogs sniffing time. I will at some point say, "okay, you ready?" My dogs know that means sniffing time is nearing an end & will get their last whiffs in & then the Giant & Poodle will snort & we're ready to go. I use a long line on my dogs in the event we're in a public place with no fence to secure us. They can go be goofy & I still have a line to take control if I need to. I use the same thing to break my dogs from chasing/killing chickens. I use the long line for tracking. It's great. I will even use shark line (what they use to fish for sharks) & put a snap on one end (this is with dogs that I know won't snap the line). The light line (shark line) gives them a feeling of more freedom. There's always a way if you just must but I don't do meet & greets off leash.
 
1 - 20 of 22 Posts
Top